The device, which runs the Linux-based Maemo operating system, features a 3.5in touch-screen, slide-out Qwerty keyboard, fast web browsing and access to Nokia’s online app store, Ovi. Nokia said the N900 was designed to bring the desktop computing experience to mobile devices.
It has a powerful ARM Cortex-A8 processor and 1GB of dedicated application memory, which enables it to handle multiple apps simultaneously. It pulls in contacts from a variety of social networking sites, such as Facebook, and “threads” conversations by person, regardless of whether communication took place via email, text messages, chat service or through Facebook. The device boasts 32GB of storage, and can be expanded to 48GB using a microSD card.
Nokia dominates the mobile phone market, accounting for 40 per cent of all handsets sold worldwide. But it is wary of losing ground to the likes of Apple and Research in Motion, which makes the BlackBerry.
“The Nokia N900 has generated a lot of interest since its public launch in August, which has been reflected in the device pre-orders,” said José-Luis Martinez, a vice president with Nokia. “What’s exciting is the Maemo software, which takes its cues from the desktop computer and offers a full browsing experience like no other handset.”
The N900 will be available free on some networks, depending on contract and tariff, while a SIM-free device will set users back around £500.
Technology experts say the N900’s arrival will be crucial for the future growth of the Finnish mobile phone giant. Nokia is expected to use its Maemo platform to power an increasing number of devices in order to meet the growing needs of consumers to remain connected to the internet and their social networks at all times.
“Maemo will deliver the next generation of ‘computer-like’ experiences,” says Geoff Blaber, an analyst with CCS Insight. “The emphasis on rich visuals and multitasking is key. Multitasking will become increasingly important in a world where the phone is being used to access multiple functions, applications and services. It’s a challenge that Apple faces with the iPhone.”
Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Storm 2 will be available to Verizon Wireless customers Wednesday, according to the carrier.
Like its predecessor, the BlackBerry Storm 2 will feature a touch screen. Unlike the BlackBerry Storm, though, the Storm 2’s SurePress “clickable” display doesn’t actually move (except for around corners). Instead, the display provides an electronic feedback that mimics the feeling of a click. It also features multi-touch support, allowing users to click two keys (like shift plus a letter) on the virtual keyboard at the same time.Aside from a revamped touch screen, the Storm 2 offers built-in Wi-Fi and EV-DO Revision A. The Storm 2 provides global support, allowing users to make calls and get 3G data overseas, thanks to an included SIM card. The phone comes with 256MB of flash memory, and 2GB of “onboard” memory. It also ships with a 16GB MicroSD card.The Storm 2 runs BlackBerry OS 5.0. According to Verizon, the new software will improve the device’s typing and selection accuracy. It also features more use of animations.
The Storm 2 has a 3.2-megapixel camera and video recording. The phone comes with BlackBerry Maps, which allows users to access turn-by-turn directions and maps, and to find local businesses. RIM has also included Verizon’s VZ Navigator service, which adds voice-guided directions, but costs an additional $9.99 per month.Like some of the latest BlackBerry smartphones, the Storm 2 will provide access to the BlackBerry App World. It also supports Verizon’s tethering service.
The phone features a removable battery that, according to Verizon Wireless, will offer up to 5.5 hours of talk time. It asserts that the battery will last for 11 days on standby.
When the Storm 2 hits store shelves for $179.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate, both RIM and Verizon will be hoping that users have forgotten about the mistakes made in the original BlackBerry Storm. That phone’s touch screen and software annoyances yielded some unhappy customers. It also failed to break three stars in a CNET review last year.That said, Bonnie Cha at CNET Reviews had an opportunity to check out a near-final version of the Storm 2 recently. According to Cha, the Storm 2’s SurePress touch screen is much improved over its predecessor. She was also happy to see Wi-Fi make its way to the follow-up smartphone. Still, she found that the software reset spontaneously at times and that, overall, the GPS performance was sub-par.